Get Figgy With It

Fig restaurant doesn't fall far from the tree

When you're a creative chef with a 100-year-old fig tree in your front yard–like the gorgeous beauty standing over the entryway to the Fairmont Miramar hotel–chances are you'll find culinary inspiration from it. At Fig, the Santa Monica hotel's new restaurant, executive chef Ray Garcia has done just that.

Garcia uses seasonal ingredients from the farmers' markets, but you'll find figs all over his brasserie menu, even before the season sets in: House-made preserves spike a refreshing mojito and pairs perfectly with rich chicken liver mousse, and fresh Black Mission figs top the tarte flambé along with blue cheese and crisp bacon. But our favorite is the fig bar dessert. One bite of the soft, warm cookie (pictured) with a scoop of homemade yogurt ice cream, and you'll forget all about those store-bought brands.

The bars are easy to bake at home, and since the filling is made with dried figs–not fresh–you don't have to wait until they're in season. Click here for the recipe.

Fig Restaurant, 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-319-3111 or figsantamonica.com